Sunday, 19 March 2017

Yet More Cattle Egrets

Our annual March walk at Lopwell Dam on Thursday 16th was a brief affair on what was another grey and overcast day. The walk was short and quick and grabbed between first visiting father-in-law at Derriford Hospital and then visiting him on the way home at the nursing home in Woolwell that he had been transferred to.

I managed to see a few nice birds though :- a female goosander, a little grebe, a moorhen, mallards (including a few farmyard types), muscovy ducks and Canada geese above the Dam and a common sandpiper and 2 mute swan below the Dam ; a chiffchaff, a coalt tit, goldcrests and long tailed tits in the woods with a green woodpecker and a great spotted woodpecker heard ; cormorants, shelducks, little egrets, Canada geese and gulls along the estuary ; and 4 raven and a buzzard over the tree tops. There were as usual lots of daffodils in flower and lots of variably plumaged male pheasents with just 2 females amongst them.

Common Sandpiper

Friday 17th and we finally managed to get to Stoke Point for a walk. The day started off promisingly with sunshine and blue sky but it soon clouded over to the usual greyness and with a surprisingly strong and cool breeze. As we drove down the lane to the car park by the caravan park there was a large herd of cows in the roadside field with gulls, crows and 6 cattle egrets, 1 of which was in breeding plumage. The egrets were mobile and flighty amongst the tightly packed cows and viewing was difficult over the hedge but they were a nice find in what has been a mini influx of birds this winter.
Three Cattle Egret with Cows

Two Cattle Egret

One Cattle Egret

The walk was as enjoyable as always despite the breeze and the usual birds were seen :- a pair of peregrines along the cliffs, the female noticeably larger than the male ; 5 singing chiffchaffs were heard with 2 non singing birds also seen ; a displaying sparrowhawk over the woods ; a flyover raven and buzzard ; a male and 2 female cirl buntings ; stonechats galore with males singing ; a male mallard on a boggy patch by the footpath ; fulmars around the cliffs ; and meadow pipits, linnets and skylarks. No sign of any yellowhammers or Dartford warblers though.

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